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Author Topic: Buckfast bees: Does anyone have them and like them?  (Read 5064 times)
ncbeekeeper
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« on: January 29, 2008, 07:12:06 PM »

The Buckfast bees have caught my attention and I would like to know some more about them before taking the dive. I did a search on this forum for them and saw some posts about them getting hot after a couple of years, does this still happen? Where is a good place to purchase them or is weaver the only place worth while?

Thanks for the help,

Scott..
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mlewis48
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2008, 12:29:53 AM »

  Scott,
  I have 3 Buckfast hives.  2 of the 3 are hot. I was told that they were a very gentle bee and easy to work with. Being new to the game, I  got them without looking at other breads and they were the only ones that I could get locally. They built up fast and have been worth the money BUT they can be moody. I have had them attack when I was working with a hive that was next to them. The 1 that is calm, I can work them without protection, on a good day. The rest of my yard is made up of Italians, which from what I have found, are alot easier to deal with. I like the Buckfast bees because they keep me on my toes. When ever I get a little overcompitant, they bring me back to reality. So, I hope that this has been a little help in your choice of bees to get. Is this your first hive? Good luck
                                                           Marcus
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MBrowne
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2008, 12:32:36 AM »

I have a few hives of Buckfast that I got last year. 1 is hot and 2 are gentle. The hot one became that way after being superseded. I do not think I have enough data to really prove out that it became hot just because of being Buckfast. I plan on requeening the hot one in the spring.
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2008, 12:43:03 AM »

I have Buckfast bees from rweaver.  I've had them for three years now.  They weren't real fast to build up, but once they got going they have produced very well.  I haven't noticed them becoming ill tempered.  They are fairly easy to work.  They are very hygienic, and I have had no trouble with mites or diseases (knock wood). ( I do medicate for tracheal mites, nosema, and use powdered sugar shakes for varroa.)  They do love to swarm no matter what I do to try to prevent it.  Fortunately their favorite place to swarm is a dwarf apple tree so they are easy to catch!
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2008, 12:43:47 AM »

http://www.buckfast.org.uk/site.php?use=bees

Hope this helps.


.......JP
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dpence
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2008, 12:35:28 PM »

I started out with a hive of them and they swarmed on me the first season.  It was my fault though because they built up fast and ran out of room.  I was able to capture the swarm and make a new hive.  Both are doing very well and that was three years ago.   The seem to be even tempered until you take honey...LOL.   

David
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DennisB
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2008, 03:06:39 PM »

Hello depence. Where in NE Missouri are you located? Also where did you get your Buckfast bees? I am in Louisiana south of Hannibal.

Thanks
DennisB
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dpence
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2008, 03:55:07 PM »

We are east of Mobelry, MO.  I got them from Weavers.
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ncbeekeeper
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2008, 05:43:16 PM »

Thanks for all the replies, I think I'll stick with my Rusians for now and if I get another it will probably be Italians.

Scott..
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2008, 06:55:06 PM »

>The Buckfast bees have caught my attention and I would like to know some more about them before taking the dive. I did a search on this forum for them and saw some posts about them getting hot after a couple of years, does this still happen? Where is a good place to purchase them or is weaver the only place worth while?

I had them from 1974 until 2001 (from Weavers and then BWeavers).  I liked them a lot until they went psycho in 2001.  I don't expect to try any again unless I can get them from somewhere North of Texas.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2008, 12:43:35 AM »

you might find this interesting if you want some Buckfast that aren't from texas, if you want the real thing , read this below and see if you can get with them and get a few, here is a message a friend sent me about them...... I am getting 5-10 , they will probably cost around 25-30 bucks each maybe a little less but thats what I was told to expect


Hi, Ted, this guy Mr. Ferguson from Canada is great to deal with. We ended up putting everybody's order together to get to 100 queens. He has to drive them to the border with all the paperwork since last year they were held up at the border until they were all dead! When he gets them across the line, he goes to a UPS store & ships them overnight.
The good news is, we have invited him to come on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 to speak at the Heartland Apiculture Society meeting [www.heartlandbees.com] in Huntington, WV at Marshall University.
He is bringing as many Buckfast queens as we want with him for sale. If you are coming up here to the meeting, we can let him know how many you want [or even just one if that's all you want to have].
I hope that helps. I have only had these Buckfast since last July but they seem to be good bees. There are only 3 breeders who have the original stock now that Brother Adam is dead and Buckfast Abbey has stopped producing them. Ferguson is one of the remaining breeders of the pure Buckfast.
 
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BMAC
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2008, 06:24:40 AM »

This is a great topic.  I had bought 3 Buckfast packages from Weaver this past spring.  1 of which absconded a day after I released the queen.  The other two are too hot to care to keep.  Also neither of the two hot ones produced any honey at all this past season.  After speaking with a few experts they believe they have the africanized genetics which is what causes all the above.

This spring I am going in on hunter killer mode for the queens and turning both colonies into mating NUCs.  I did consider buying a NUC from the guy in Canada.  However then I started thinking about that entire concept of Buckfast bees.  They were bred specifically for the wet cool weather of England.  Here in western Missouri it has never really been wet and cool for very long, more like hot and dry most of the bees are working.  I think I am more apt to stay away from the Buckfast hybrid unless I move to England.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2008, 07:19:18 AM »

Anywhere with harsh winters, the Buckfasts seem to do well.

As far as getting some from Canada, as I understand it Mr. Fergeson is going to be a the HAS (Heartland Apiculture Society) meeting with lots of queens for sale.  That way he can import a bunch at one time and sell them to lots of people.  The paperwork for importing queens from Canada is very cumbersome.
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Michael Bush
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dpence
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2008, 11:19:02 AM »

One can rationalize how it is possible that some africianization traits could be passed on regardless of how well things are checked and controlled.  I asked the question to the state biologist one time whether or not he thought africanized bees could exist in northern Missouri, there was no answer.  Hummm.  I think most beekeepers look for what works for them.  Everyone certainly has different experiences.   grin

David
 
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BMAC
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2008, 12:17:55 PM »

You should ask the state biologist if he/she has worked with AHB in the past and know for sure they can't exist.  That is almost like saying SHB can't exist in Missouri because it is found in warm wet areas like Georgia.

I would bet the few commercial guys bring back AHB from california when their colonies swarm during the Almond pollination. 
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dpence
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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2008, 02:03:04 PM »

I would bet the few commercial guys bring back AHB from california when their colonies swarm during the Almond pollination. 

Exactly, I agree.  Regardless of what we do, there will be some queens that meet up with AHB drones.  Like anything in life, we just have to deal with the cards we are dealt.  Who knows I may have a hive of hot bees this season.

David 
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BMAC
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2008, 02:15:10 PM »

divide and conquer.
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2008, 06:54:48 PM »

You should ask the state biologist if he/she has worked with AHB in the past and know for sure they can't exist.  That is almost like saying SHB can't exist in Missouri because it is found in warm wet areas like Georgia.

I would bet the few commercial guys bring back AHB from california when their colonies swarm during the Almond pollination. 


they say there is no AFB in Ga. http://www.gabeekeeping.com/ahb.htm
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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MBrowne
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2008, 10:58:52 PM »

you might find this interesting if you want some Buckfast that aren't from texas, if you want the real thing , read this below ...

Hi, Ted, this guy Mr. Ferguson from Canada is great to deal with. We ended up putting everybody's order together to get to 100 queens. He has to drive them to the border with all the paperwork since last year they were held up at the border until they were all dead! When he gets them across the line, he goes to a UPS store & ships them overnight.
...


I just talked to Mr. Ferguson myself. He has found a broker to get shipments over the border with a lot less delays. He said queens should be ready first or second week of June.
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TwT
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Ted


« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2008, 07:14:41 AM »

you might find this interesting if you want some Buckfast that aren't from texas, if you want the real thing , read this below ...

Hi, Ted, this guy Mr. Ferguson from Canada is great to deal with. We ended up putting everybody's order together to get to 100 queens. He has to drive them to the border with all the paperwork since last year they were held up at the border until they were all dead! When he gets them across the line, he goes to a UPS store & ships them overnight.
...


I just talked to Mr. Ferguson myself. He has found a broker to get shipments over the border with a lot less delays. He said queens should be ready first or second week of June.


did you get the contact info for the broker?
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic
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